Back in 2010, Jamie Harrison & Candice Edmunds of Vox Motus (Glasgow) approached Oliver Emanuel with a novel idea – could he please write them a play with no words. ‘There are obviously very valid production reasons,’ says Oliver, ‘its easier to tour abroad, for one thing.It’s accessible… the play is in fact quite normal when you read it. There is only one stage direction on the front page: The play is written to be performed without words. That is, the characters in the world are able to speak to one another but the actors on stage do not. Neither do they mime. Each spoke line must be replaced by a physical gesture that stands in the place of verbal expression.’ Five years later Vox Motus has teamed up with the National Theatre of Scotland & Tianjin People’s Arts Theatre to bring Dragon into the heart of the Edinburgh Festival season.
The story concerns a young lad, Tommy, whose grief since the death of his mother manifests itself as a a hallucinative Dragon, who pops up from time-to-to time throughout the play. Starting out as the street-lamp that comes to life outside his house, the puppetry of the Dragon is a visual feast – a surreal objet d’art among the colourful but hum-drum scenes of inner city Glasgow. Splendid throughout, Dragon is a kind of anti-poem, for where our noble art uses words to paint pictures in the mind, this creation of Vox Motus uses images to paint words in the mind. With marvellous music & a canny wee cast, to witness Dragon lends a certain poignancy to one’s existence, whose cleverly done scenes should remain firmly entrenched in one’s memories for years to come. Of these, a simple scene in which Tommy is brushing his teeth, bathed in golden light, was strikingly simple & yet aesthetically glorious, outdoing even the brilliant scene in the swimming pool. FOUR STARS
Reviewer : Damo Bullen
Posted on August 16, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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